Archive for October, 2011
In all of the Herman Cain hub-bub, George Will’s very thoughtful (and obvious) point that Mitt Romney can’t win the nomination gets lost.
For those who missed it, here’s what George Will said:
Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming.
Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from “data” (although there is precious little to support Romney’s idea that in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants is a powerful magnet for such immigrants) and who believes elections should be about (in Dukakis’s words) “competence,” not “ideology.” But what would President Romney competently do when not pondering ethanol subsidies that he forthrightly says should stop sometime before “forever”? Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for this?
No one wants to talk about this little detail.
Romney will do fine with some independents but 75% of his own party does not like him. This matters. This matters for volunteers, ground game and enthusiasm.
Anyway, I said this a month ago and I say it again, Mitt is a problematic candidate for Republicans and a dream for Democrats.
Herman Cain punted the answer to a question from Jim Pethokoukis about some rather mundane detail of his economic plan. His staff person will answer it. This is the sort of thing that bugs me.
He was at American Enterprise Institute, specifically, to talk about his economic plan. One mildly challenging question. Punt. Even Jim didn’t seem to mind, so charming is Cain.
We’ve had three years of spectacle. Does no one hunger for substance?
Also, and aside: Herman Cain said that he knew nothing of the settlement after proclaiming that sexual harassment never happened. Later today, he went on to detail the behaviors of his non-sexual harassment that he didn’t know there was a settlement for. He also remembered that there was a settlement.
The key is to understanding is to not ask questions.
UPDATE: Also, he doesn’t recall if he asked a woman to his hotel room. Oh, come ON!
For those who are bringing up Jon Edwards’ love child, know this: As vicious as the media is to conservatives, I want them that brutal to liberals.
Politicians, are, by their very job descriptions, kept honest only through abject, paralyzing, goose-bump inducing fear.
The solution to a lax media on the left isn’t laxer media. As long as the quest is for truth and that trumped up b.s. isn’t used to smear a candidate, the time to know is NOW.
We do not need to find out when we have a nominee that the nominee has serious, or questionable flaws.
I hope all this about Herman Cain is trumped up. I want the biased, shameless media brought low by their double standards.
The Republican front runner should be able to answer a straight-forward question about his economic plan. Or a spurious sexual harassment claim.
Conservative bloggers outside of the Beltway have been hopping mad at Jennifer Rubin, ostensible conservative journalist (née blogger), for what they perceive as shameless bias against conservatives and conservatism.
Politico wrote a story about her obsessive anti-Rick Perry writing (60 columns!) and apparent coziness with the Romney team.
When Redstate blogger and CNN commentator Erick Erickson noted that he didn’t think Rubin was conservative and likened her political bent to being a member of Likud, the Israeli political party, Rubinfired back:
“You want a Washington Post journalist to comment on an anti-Semitic screed by some blogger?” Rubin asked. “My arms are not long enough to punch down that far.”
This response was giggle-worthy —for a couple of reasons. The smug self-importance while throwing the victim card while, um, punching down, reinforced criticisms rather than countering them.
Erickson went on to apologize for insensitivity, saying he intended the Likud comparison as political shorthand for Rubin’s positions (meaning that she’s good on national security and terror but not much else), not as loyalty to Israel over America.
Jeff Duntz, conservative Jewish blogger at Yid With A Lid would have none of it, “Erick is not the most subtle person around. If he were to make a charge of dual loyalty, the reader would be hit over the head with it.”
He goes further, “..maybe to the readers of the very liberal Washington Post she is a conservative, but to the rest of us conservatives she is nothing more than an arrogant ‘not conservative blogger’ who is not a big fan of either conservatives or bloggers.”
And yet, many of her beltway conservative media friends closed ranks. The defense? They know her. She’s nice.
And while it’s probably true that she’s a nice person, it doesn’t quite address the central criticism: that she’s biased against the conservative cause.
But more on that in a minute.
Last night, a fuming friend presented me a hastily torn out Letter from the Editor from G.Q. Magazine. The editor, Jim Nelson, a former CNN news producer and failed screenwriter vented his overworked spleen against…you guessed it, Rick Perry.
His paragraphs were long and convoluted–the kind of writing you’d expect from someone who has trouble finding the keyboard keys because the anger-induced adrenalin surge would be better suited to outrunning a bear. In this case, Jim Nelson was afraid he couldn’t outrun alpha-male Rick Perry. He’s the bogeyman and he’s coming to get meeee! Here’s a sample:
But I imagine that, come primary time, a lot of GOP voters, hoping to extend a middle finger to Washington, will find that fat little finger in Perry’s hand. Is he crazy? Who isn’t these days? Those throw-the-bums-outers will love Perry’s brand of craziness. He’s like Ron Paul without the diapers.
There’s more where that came from. Michele Bachmann isn’t spared, nor is nearly every mainstream American, forget conservative, idea: Boy Scouting is good, repealing Obamacare is wanted, the Commerce Clause is abused, etc.
Nelson edits a male fashion and lifestyle magazine, and has decided to go down the Graydon Carter road of mistaking his audience for people who care about his leftist opinion about the Republican primary contenders. Here’s the demographics:
TOTAL AUDIENCE: 6,612,000
Median Age: 34.3
Age 18-49: 82%
Median HHI: $72,738
HHI $100,000+: 31%
Gender: Male 73%/Female 27%
Education: Attended/Graduated College+ 70%
Employment Status: Professional 50%
Marital Status: Single 63%/Married 37%
Source: MRI Spring 2011
PROFILE OF AFFLUENT AUDIENCE:
Median Age: 39.9
Median HHI: $157,606
Gender: Male 82%/Female 18%
Education: Attended/Graduated College+ 83%
Employment Status: Professional 70%
Marital Status: Single 38%/Married 62%
Source: MMR 2011
Any guess how this demographic votes? Yeah. It’s no wonder print media of all sorts is losing readership. If the fury I witnessed is any indication, the magazine has lost another subscriber.
Jennifer Rubin writes for the Washington Post. She replaced Dave Weigel, the self-admitted non-conservative who voted for Nader, Kerry, and Obama, in that order. Before going to the WaPo, Jennifer wrote many places but found one of her homes at Pajamas Media, where I also wrote, and sometimes write. Her writing there was fair, and more importantly, balanced.
Conservatives who read her work now wonder why a conservative writer at the WaPo is needed at all—at least a conservative like this one. Far from being a haven of conservative thought, Rubin’s columns are informed by the same fundamental worldview as her liberal compatriots at the newspaper, like Greg Sargent and Ezra Klein—the same worldview which permeates the pages of the Post every day. Call it the “big city mayor” approach to government—or even the Big Brother approach.
To summarize: Government is a benevolent force, lead by intelligent people who will find solutions for the folks who don’t know better.
Unabashedly conservative politicians—particularly those who come from rural, southern, or western backgrounds—provoke panic for people with this worldview.
Whenever pundits like Jim Nelson or Jennifer Rubin start to lose it over the rugged individualistic, common sense, rather straight-forward, red-white-and-blue American ethic espoused by someone like Rick Perry, the movie Talladega Nights comes to my mind. Nearly every stereotype of the middle American bumpkin was thrown into that movie. And yet, the movie was a smash hit. Middle Americans, as it turns out, have a sense of humor about themselves.
What Hollywood meant as scorn, the viewers embraced. The jokes on them, smirk those in the know. If numbers mean anything, and in electoral politics and movie theaters, they do, the exact opposite is true.
Unlike the media consumers, members of the Smartypants Set™ most certainly do not have a sense of humor–unless you consider unironic allusions to being the 1% like New York University professor Jay Rosen made while being taped during his journalism class humor. Well. He thought he was funny.
Sensibility saviors and cultural vanguards take their role as gatekeepers for the ignorant masses deadly seriously. And a guy like Rick Perry and all the state-college-educated, gun-toting, Air Force-flying, Bible-loving, NASCAR watching, baseness sticks in the craw of the Smartypants Set™.
They are, as candidate Obama noted, “bitter clingers.” They just won’t let go of their cherished American traditions.
The common people, “provincial” as Jennifer Rubin described Perry, embarrass them. In the end, it’s all about how they feel. And being lead by a commoner, even a highly successful one, does not suit.
So, Jim Nelson has Barack Obama—suave, urbane and best of all, he knows how to wear a suit. And Jennifer Rubin has Mitt Romney—suave, urbane, and best of all, he knows how to wear a suit.
It doesn’t matter if the suit is empty or the suit isn’t conservative. The point is, these people don’t make the cultural elites uncomfortable. They are their people. They speak a language that resonates with news editors and commentators and even Washington Post
Increasingly, and regretfully, it’s a language not spoken anywhere but in the cloisters of Higher Ed and newsrooms and Hollywood and worst of all, Congress. It’s uniform, uninformed and anything but inclusive. There’s little diversity of thought, if any, and the unifying theme is “We know better than you.”
The tenor of the language is getting increasingly shrill and hysterical.
Jim Nelson’s screed was ill-thought out and tinged with paranoia.
Jennifer Rubin’s repeated bashing has become strangely personal. In her case, the willingness to print every spurious rumor as fact as long as it maligns Rick Perry (while ignoring nearly every other Republican candidate) is neither very objective nor very journalistic–well, not in the romantic journalist-as-objective-reporter nonsense she ascribes to.
Jay Rosen and Clay Shirky New York University journalism professors, and in Shirky’s case, a consultant to the New York Times spoke of how the New York Times created Barack Obama. Together they gloated and spoke of Chardonnay and shaping the news to diminish conservatives and elevate liberals.
Here’s the real takeaway: The media is neither objective nor in touch with the culture they seek to shape. They, like Obama, believe America, and especially conservative America, is fundamentally flawed. They don’t see a distinction between your average evangelical churchgoer and a snake-handler. They seek to poison the well for any politician or person espousing conservative ideology even in the face of the abject failure of their own.
This worldview is detached, egotistic and condescending. And as long as people who ascribe to it are allowed to dictate who is an acceptable leader and who isn’t, we’ll always end up with empty suits.
Herman Cain ran a pizza company. He was chief executive, after working his way up, of a Fortune 500 company.
I’ve decided that tomorrow, I’m going to be CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. But, Melissa, you protest, you have no experience! I beg to differ. Consider:
1. I like pizza. A lot.
2. I run a business. Sure, it’s a small business with a couple of employees, but…what?
3. I know people who own stocks. Heck, I own a little myself. Dealing with stockholders should be no sweat.
4. I know what franchises are.
5. I’m a people person.
6. I work hard.
I figure that if Herman Cain can be a CEO of a company so can I.
Absurd? Of course. Being the CEO in the food service industry doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, Herman Cain himself says that he started at the bottom and worked his way up.
It’s arrogant on my part to think that I could just jump into the job and more importantly, succeed, from day one. It diminishes the hard work, skill and understanding that’s imparted from being immersed im the business.
Herman Cain wants to be President of the United States. He has never done these things:
1. Held elected office.
2. Served diverse constituencies with conflicting demands.
3. Run a successful campaign.
4. Hired ground game campaigners in any state, even now.
Here’s the thing, I don’t think so little of Herman Cain’s role as CEO at Godfather’s Pizza that I believe “anyone can do it”. That’s simply not true. Not anyone can do it. Otherwise, anyone WOULD do it.
I also don’t think so little of the United States Presidency that I believe “anyone can do it”. Exhibit “A”: Barack Obama.
This is where some people wax philosophical and say things like this to me, “Melissa, I don’t think the presidency should be out of reach for the average person.”
Newsflash: Our Founding Fathers were not “average people”. They were extraordinary people. Accomplished. Seasoned. Leaders in thought and action and political philosophy and acumen.
I understand that the Presidency has been diminished by some of its holders. That doesn’t mean that standards for office holders should be thrown out. No, we should expect more.
Some of you will think I’m picking on Herman Cain, but really, executive elected leadership is so important that my criterion eliminates people like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and even Newt Gingrich.
It is easy to appeal to a district who is often relatively homogenous ideologically. And yet, Herman Cain hasn’t even done this. He hasn’t run a small campaign–and even small campaigns can be fraught with difficulty.
Governing is not the same as being a boss at work where people are being paid to do what you tell them to.
I wouldn’t be so hard on Mr. Cain if I felt that his campaign was being run efficiently or seriously. I am getting increasingly pissed off, though, because a lot of people I like and admire are being played by the Cain campaign.
When I see that Herman Cain is in Texas to do his book tour (he’s been in my neck of the woods twice in the past two months that I know of and will be here next week again), I’m incredulous. This is the most important election in a lifetime, maybe more, and he’s fooling around giving inspirational speeches and selling books in unimportant primary states?
When I hear that key activists in battleground states haven’t been reached out to by the Cain campaign, that tells me that he’s not running for President. He hasn’t even wrapped up Tea Party folks who know and love him, to work for him?
I see the charming smile and the easy way Herman Cain has with people and see a natural politician. His lack of experience and, based on his actions, lack of desire for the presidency, angers me.
Too much is at stake to be fooling around during a presidential campaign so you can get more speaking engagements and sell self-help books.
Cain followers, please demand answers of your candidate. He shouldn’t be just talking the talk, but walking the walk. That means setting up a nationwide network that will help him win the election should he get the nomination.
Either Herman Cain gets serious, or admit this: He is the perfect foil for Mitt Romney.
As it stands, a vote for Herman Cain is a vote for Mitt Romney. And, as far as I can tell, that’s exactly the opposite of what Cain backers want.
There’s only one purpose for the Republican debates and none of them are as follows:
1. To inform
2. To educate
3. To enlighten
The ONLY purpose for the GOP debates is so the media can make all the candidates look like complete unelectable idiots.
So far, they’re succeeding. Gotcha questions and stupid expressions are heightened by a GOP-hating media meanwhile all of Obama’s ignorance and mistakes are minimized and avoided. For those not paying attention, it might seem like Obama is the only rational alternative.
GOP folks look at them and think that the purpose is to influence primary voters. Really, that’s tangential. What’s most important is gathering as much data for Obama’s media team as possible.
For the media, it’s a win. For the GOP, it’s a net loss no matter who the nominee ends up being.
NOTE: If the GOP really wanted to educate the public, they’d sit down in front of conservative audiences with Republican and conservative moderators and answer questions and the media would be forced to show up. The side benefit would be that people could actually make an educated decision.
Mitt Romney’s connections to the Obama administration extend beyond setting the framework for Obamacare. Turns out that one of the directors of the EPA choking the life out of business right now, was Mitt Romney’s “Green Quarterback.” National Journal has more:
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has taken most of the fire from Republicans as her agency rolls out a slew of controversial new climate and clean air rules. But McCarthy, the EPA assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation, has taken on much of the heavy lifting of writing, structuring, and implementing the rules.
“Lisa’s the coach and Gina’s the quarterback” in the work of rolling out new clean air regulations, said Daniel Weiss, an energy and climate policy expert at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Obama administration. “She’s running the plays, improvising on the line.”
McCarthy is meeting behind the scenes with coal CEOs, lawmakers, and state and federal officials to lay the groundwork for the new rules and make sure they’re put in place. She’s making sure the clean air legal language is written in a way that’s robust and airtight, in order to have the biggest impact on cutting pollution, with no loopholes. She’s testifying to Congress, making the case as to why the rules should be implemented, despite a fusillade of political attacks.
The environmentalists love her job-killing policies. Former
Democrat Massachusetts liberal Governor Mitt Romney loved her, too. And yet, here’s what she’s doing right now, according to AmericasPower.org :
As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on the TRAIN Act, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, today, released a comprehensive analysis conducted by National Economic Research Associates (NERA) showing that several of EPA’s new and proposed regulations would lead to 183,000 lost jobs per year and significant increases in the price of electricity and natural gas.
“America’s coal-fueled electric industry has invested nearly $100 billion, so far, to achieve impressive reductions in air pollution. Now is the wrong time for EPA to blindly push ahead without even pausing long enough to understand how all of these rules could hurt American jobs and consumers,” said Steve Miller, president and CEO of ACCCE.
The analysis, done on behalf of ACCCE by NERA, relies on state-of-the-art modeling tools, as well as government data for almost all of its assumptions. NERA’s analysis projects that EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and proposed Maximum Achievable Control Technology, coal combustion residuals, and cooling water intake requirements for power plants would, over the 2012-2020 period:
• Cost the power industry $21 billion per year;
• Cause an average loss of 183,000 jobs per year;
• Increase electricity costs by double digits in many regions of the U.S.;
• Cost consumers over $50 billion more for natural gas; and
• Reduce the disposable income of the average American family by $270 a year.
Does Lisa McCarthy care about jobs? Does the Obama administration? Does Mitt Romney? Evidently not:
Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said the Obama administration has faced “a backlog of rulemakings” that weren’t implemented on time or were overturned by the courts.
The agency recently finalized its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to replace a George W. Bush-era rule that a federal court struck down in 2008. And the Utility MACT rule for reducing toxic emissions from power plants has been in the works for 20 years, she said.
Ever the bureaucrat, she’s going to press on with job-killing regulations.
Here’s the thing: We expect this kind of destructive behavior from Democrats. There isn’t a regulation that they’ve met that they don’t like (oh wait, I take that back, they don’t like regulations making abortion clinics comply with minimal doctor’s office standards).
It’s disgraceful, though, how seamlessly bureaucrats from Mitt Romney’s administration mesh into Barack Obama’s administration. Barack Obama. Think about that. The most liberal, big government Democrat since Jimmy Carter and Mitt Romney’s advisors work for him.
Most Americans want our soldiers home. From Iraq. From Afghanistan. From every American-hating country in the world. It stinks being places, spending taxpayer money on ungrateful people.
Is it wrong that I have hope for Iraq and I don’t want to see it become Iran’s pet?
Here’s what Governor Perry said about Iraq:
“I’m deeply concerned that President Obama is putting political expediency ahead of sound military and security judgment by announcing an end to troop level negotiations and a withdrawal from Iraq by year’s end. The President was slow to engage the Iraqis and there’s little evidence today’s decision is based on advice from military commanders.
“America’s commitment to the future of Iraq is important to U.S. national security interests and should not be influenced by politics. Despite the great achievements of the U.S. military and the Iraqi people, there remain real threats to our shared interests, especially from Iran.
“The United States must remain a firm and steadfast ally for Iraq, maintaining an ongoing diplomatic, economic, and military to military partnership with this emerging democratic ally in the Middle East.
“As a veteran and commander-in-chief of national guard forces, I cannot express enough appreciation for our military service members who have protected and defended American interests in Iraq. Our Iraq war veterans made enormous sacrifices to make our nation and world safer, and I know all Americans will welcome them home with great pride and appreciation.”
The former U.S. Speaker of the House said he was critical of Bush’s decision to stay in Iraq after the initial 2003 campaign toppled Iraq President Saddam Hussein. Since then, he said, he has tried to support a solution, but none came.
“We won the first Iraq war in 1991 and very effectively, in four days driving them out of Kuwait. We won the second Iraq War in 2003 in defeating Sadam in 22 days,” he continued. “And then for reasons I don’t understand we tried to occupy and try to change Iraq and that eight-year campaign is now ending in failure. The fact is the Iranians are now stronger in Iraq than we are.
“This is not about Obama,” he continued. “This is about the general effort that far trensends Iraq. That we have to really reassess our strategies in the region and what we think we’re accomplish. The president is right. You can’t just leave 3,000 or 5,000 troops there. They would simply become targets. If you’re not going to occupy the country, you have to withdraw.”
Gingrich said he feels the same way about America’s effort to occupy and attempt to bring stability to Afghanistan, and said the same lessons “apply to the whole region.”
“We need to think very carefully about what we are doing there,” he said of Afghanistan.
His comments also came after new reports about Gadhaffi’s death suggested he may have been summarily executed by rebel troops.
“Vicoius dictators who torture and kill people are not in very good position to ask for mercy,” Gingrich said.
I don’t feel like Iraq is a failure, do you? It just seems like it could be more successful. It seems like the little sapling needs time to grow.
I’m curious about what Iraq vets feel about the draw-down. Do they feel like it’s the right thing to do? Informal survey for everyone. If you are a veteren, please share your opinion.
Marco Rubio punched back against the defamatory Washington Post piece. Liberals are loving it because Marco Rubio — an ardently pro-American Senator of Cuban descent can not only lead, but he can give a speech, too — scares them to death. More here.
Articulate minority? Why, he should be a Democrat. How dare he be uppity?
Since he isn’t, it’s a mission to destroy him as a person.
A friend of mine, Bettina Inclan, also of Cuban descent was incensed at the hit and said this privately and I asked if I could share her thoughts. Here’s what she said:
I am beyond disappointed by the Washington Post and their attack piece on Marco Rubio and his family’s history fleeing Cuba’s political turmoil. I keep wondering why they deiced to run this piece now? Is it for the financial gain of article’s author Manuel Roig-Franzia who has an upcoming unauthorized biography on Rubio?
I’m not sure what to be more upset about, Washington Post’s sloppy reporting, their total lack of understanding of the Cuban exile experience, how they conveniently ignore Cuban history or their veiled attempt to try to bruise Marco Rubio, a rising Hispanic Republican star ….
My grandfather suffered for 13 plus years in a Cuban prison because he refused to become a Communist. His experience as a political prisoner and my family’s flight for freedom in America has shaped my political beliefs. My story is similar to thousands of Cuban-Americans whose family history might be slightly different, yet their pain is very much the same.
Marco Rubio embodies what we feel, what we’ve experienced and the hopes and dreams of our parents and grandparents. He has succeeded not only because he been able to effectively communicate the Cuban American experience but also because he represent thousands of exiles and immigrants who might have come to America for different reasons, but all are searching for their American dream…
For the Washington Post to say that he is not a “real” exile is beyond insulting. The facts stand, his family left Cuba because of a dictatorship. They tried to go back, but because of Fidel Castro, they couldn’t return to their beloved homeland. Like many Cuban exiles, the Rubio family felt like all was lost. In 50 years dates and exact details get blurry and bruised. Yet, even with half of century past, the exile experience is still raw and in many ways sacred…
The Washington Post is opening a huge can of worms. They attack Rubio for not being a real Cuban exile. This hit piece on Rubio is tied to birther attacks that Rubio is not American-enough to be considered for President of the United States of America. It’s an unfortunate game… I hope that if anything comes of this, more people learn about the harsh realities many Cuban families have faced and the sacrifices they had to make in search of freedom in this great country.
Like Bettina, I think the Washington Post and the DC media, hell-bent on helping Democrats, is making a big mistake here. The country is becoming more diverse, not only racially, but ideologically. Independents make up a huge portion of the voting demographic. This kind of thing doesn’t sit well. You’re hurting the Democrats, WaPo. I know that’s not your intention.
Here is Marco Rubio’s own statement in full:
The Washington Post on Friday accused me of seeking political advantage by embellishing the story of how my parents arrived in the United States.
That is an outrageous allegation that is not only incorrect, but an insult to the sacrifices my parents made to provide a better life for their children. They claim I did this because “being connected to the post-revolution exile community gives a politician cachet that could never be achieved by someone identified with the pre-Castro exodus, a group sometimes viewed with suspicion.”
If The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that. But to call into question the central and defining event of my parents’ young lives – the fact that a brutal communist dictator took control of their homeland and they were never able to return – is something I will not tolerate.
My understanding of my parents’ journey has always been based on what they told me about events that took place more than 50 years ago – more than a decade before I was born. What they described was not a timeline, or specific dates.
They talked about their desire to find a better life, and the pain of being separated from the nation of their birth. What they described was the struggle they faced growing up, and their obsession with giving their children the chance to do the things they never could.
But the Post story misses the point completely. The real essence of my family’s story is not about the date my parents first entered the United States. Or whether they travelled back and forth between the two nations. Or even the date they left Fidel Castro’s Cuba forever and permanently settled here.
The essence of my family story is why they came to America in the first place; and why they had to stay.
I now know that they entered the U.S. legally on an immigration visa in May of 1956. Not, as some have said before, as part of some special privilege reserved only for Cubans. They came because they wanted to achieve things they could not achieve in their native land.
And they stayed because, after January 1959, the Cuba they knew disappeared. They wanted to go back – and in fact they did. Like many Cubans, they initially held out hope that Castro’s revolution would bring about positive change. So after 1959, they traveled back several times – to assess the prospect of returning home.
In February 1961, my mother took my older siblings to Cuba with the intention of moving back. My father was wrapping up family matters in Miami and was set to join them.
But after just a few weeks, it became clear that the change happening in Cuba was not for the better. It was communism. So in late March 1961, just weeks before the Bay of Pigs invasion, my mother and siblings left Cuba and my family settled permanently in the United States.
Soon after, Castro officially declared Cuba a Marxist state. My family has never been able to return.
I am the son of immigrants and exiles, raised by people who know all too well that you can lose your country. By people who know firsthand that America is a very special place.
My father spent the last 50 years of his life separated from the nation of his birth. Separated from his two brothers, who died in Cuba in the 1980s. Unable to show us where he played baseball as a boy. Where he met my mother. Unable to visit his parents’ grave.
My mother has spent the last 50 years separated from her native land as well. Unable to take us to her family’s farm, to her schools or to the notary office where she married my father.
A few years ago, using Google Earth, I attempted to take my parents back to Cuba. We found the rooftop of the house where my father was born. What I wouldn’t give to visit these places where my story really began, before I was born.
One day, when Cuba is free, I will. But I wish I could have done it with my parents.
The Post story misses the entire point about my family and why their story is relevant. People didn’t vote for me because they thought my parents came in 1961, or 1956, or any other year. Among others things, they voted for me because, as the son of immigrants, I know how special America really is. As the son of exiles, I know how much it hurts to lose your country.
Ultimately what The Post writes is not that important to me. I am the son of exiles. I inherited two generations of unfulfilled dreams. This is a story that needs no embellishing.
Good old Brian of TRScoop sent me this video and I’m going to include it as a post because I want the permanence. It’s a clip from Blood Money talking about the concept of “pro choice” when many women say, “I had no choice.”
My first patient in practice told me of her experience of being forced to have an abortion. In fact, of all the many women (and many you’d never guess) who had abortions, only one woman told me she was happy she’d done it and would do it again if she had the choice.
The majority of women say that parents, boyfriends, and worst of all, husbands forced the woman to abort the baby. The trauma is devastating and long lasting.
It is a lie that women are getting to choose. Many women are victims of abortion–it is used against them.
Please watch this video and share it:
So many terrified women in crisis just need one person who will say, “It will be okay.”
Just one person.
Thankfully, I see the younger generation turning against the abortion culture. They have lost siblings to abortion. It is real to them.
We need a return to honoring adoption. Adoption is a wonderful gift–both to the child and to the adoptive parents.
Liberals don’t like Texas. Whether they’re liberal Democrats or liberal Republicans, Texas inhabits a hard-scrabble mythology. Red dirt, rocks, heat. A tough landscape. A big sky. Openness. Hardness.
After living in California, New York and Michigan, I’m convinced environment shapes our view of the world more than we care to admit. The coasts, used to milder weather and milder expectations, don’t like the tough life inherent in living in oppressive heat, freezing cold and general discomfort.
Texas ain’t that pretty. It certainly isn’t lush. There’s space. Hard ground. Texas is big. Texas is not, however, soft. There are no rolling hills of heather. There are no natural lakes. And yet, the people come.
People have had to make Texas what they want it to be. They have wildly succeeded.
The government reflects the landscape: spare and open.
Want a life of government paid-for ease? Don’t move to Texas. Move to California, New York or Michigan–well, until they stop using debt to finance their lavish ways. They’re out of money.
So, on this backdrop, here’s a story about the kindness of capitalism in Texas.
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and thousands of exiles trekked to Texas. When the crisis hit, Governor Perry called mayors, business leaders, and probably most importantly, church leaders. [Aside: Governor Perry’s leadership through Hurricanes has been impressive and stellar. It’s difficult for outsiders to fathom the sheer magnitude of evacuating a city the size of Houston, for example. When the first evacuation showed logistical weakness, local and state leaders did a correction of errors and the next one was flawless.]
The church leaders sent the call out to the churches. The mega churches have huge charitable organizations. They coordinated the smaller churches and resources. They asked church and community members to help. And the local people responded. So enthusiastic was the response, that when I finally got to Target to buy supplies for folks (toothpaste, brushes, and all the rest) the shelves were empty. Nada. Picked clean.
Helping Hurricane Katrina victims was probably the single largest charitable outpouring in a concentrated time for that many people in American history.
This charity was, is, a result of capitalism. People had the extra resources to give because all their extra income wasn’t soaked up in taxes.
There is a palliative effect from this sort of action–both for those who are suffering and those who are relieving the suffering. The sufferers often got to meet who was helping them. They were prayed with and cared for and loved by individuals profoundly moved by their plight. The caregivers were blessed to see their actions making a direct difference in the lives of those in need. This was not some antiseptic government bureaucrat having a person check off a list in order to get a bar of soap and diapers. This was a friend helping a friend.
The government helped, too. But it took a while to get the government engine going. It always does. People got vouchers to find homes and apartments. The Houston public school was flooded with new, and woefully behind, students (an average of two years behind academically).
After six months of the transplanted New Orleans folks living off the kindness of strangers and the government dole, a Democratic Houston city councilwoman told the visitors, pointedly, “It’s time to get a job.”
At the time of her pronouncement, the unemployment rate was 4%. She rightly noted that no one had an excuse for not working. It was time to get to work and become a member of their new community or go home. And so, some people went back home. Some people stayed.
One woman who stayed is my favorite grocery checker at my local HEB. She got plunked in my community because her house was flooded and destroyed in New Orleans. She decided to make Texas home. When I asked her why, she said that she got a job, found a rental home in a neighborhood she really likes, the schools were great, her son was happy, New Orleans was violent and scary, and she was happy here. Mind you, she’s living happily and well in one of the best school districts in Texas as a single mother on a grocery checker’s wage.
Another woman, a nurse, moved here and stayed. She was thrilled with her pay (40% more than in New Orleans!) and the low cost of living (cheaper house!).
Capitalism, the Texas kind, is kind.
The free market here in Texas creates jobs. People with jobs have dignity.
But it’s not a living wage! liberal Democrats and Republicans cry. Really? In Texas, the cost of living is a fraction of what it costs in other states in the nation. I know this from personal experience having lived, and decently, on $2000 a month gross, with a baby. Mind you, that was without delux cable, smart phones, and home entertainment systems. It was eating Ramen noodles and sitting on the floor. Is that a horrible way to live? It’s a way a person starts. Where he ends is his choice.
But insurance! Texas has a high number of uninsured people. A good chunk of that is illegal immigration. I’m sorry, liberals, but I do not want to pay for someone else’s insurance. Still, Texas has programs for those who have difficulty. Lots of young Texans don’t want to pay for insurance. When we first started, we had no insurance. What’s the first thing we purchased when we had two nickels? Insurance. Many people choose not to make that expenditure. Fine. It’s a choice. With Obamacare, no one can be turned away from insurance. People make choices. Let them choose.
If they choose poorly, they end up at the free clinic where local doctors donate time. They get wonderful care. If they really get messed up, they end up an an emergency care center (Texas communities have lots of these) or the hospital. If they don’t have eye insurance (my family doesn’t), they go to Walmart (I do) and have a reasonable eye appointment and get low-cost glasses (which I have on my face right now). In a Texas hospital, you get damn good care. The problem with illegals overwhelming border hospitals is something that’s the Fed’s failing that’s become a state problem. Illegal immigration needs to stop. It’s sucking up resources.
Kindness according to big government types is some distant person making a decision for another person with other people’s money. It’s all very detached. It lacks personal warmth, connection and accountability.
Liberals want social services to not have any behavioral expectations. When a person is receiving help from a local charity or church, the organizations know the people. There’s an element of involvement and expectation. Isn’t that a good thing?
Wasn’t it a good thing that the city councilwoman loved the Hurricane Katrina folks enough to tell them to go get a job rather then subject themselves to the corrosive effects of living helplessly, waiting for the next check to come in? Isn’t it important for people to have to look those who are giving to them freely, from their own cupboards of food and necessities, in the eyes? Isn’t it important for those in need and those giving to be connected? That is the essence of community, is it not?
Many liberals find this sort of thing demeaning–both the charitable work and seeing those who need charity. It’s uncomfortable. They don’t think of the churches that built hospitals and homeless shelters and rehabilitation centers and pregnancy crisis centers. The intimacy scares them.
Capitalism, though, creates this intimacy. Both the consumer and supplier are connected. So too, are the needy and the charitable connected.
It is tougher. Just as a loving family will boot a kid out of the nest who needs to be on his own (or should), a loving society encourages its members to live as independently as possible. This is for the good of the individual and the good of the community.
From the outside, liberals see Texas and recoil. From the inside, Texans are quite content. Hard work, independence and autonomy are appreciated. And when community is needed, charity comes out of love and desire rather than force and coercion.
Is it a perfect system? No. But I’d point to the city of Detroit and to New Orleans as examples of entrenched corruption, excessive government services, and desperation among generations of inhabitants enslaved by an anything-but-loving liberal compassion.
I’ll take the kindness of capitalism any day. Given the choice between a job and independence and an unemployment check and dependency, the thousands of people moving to Texas every month agree: capitalism is kind. They’re counting on it.